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Kansas Iowa Wisconsin Illinois Indiana Ohio Pennsylvania New York Long Island Vermont Maine Massachusetts Connecticut     Delaware  Maryland Maryland District of Columbia Virginia Florida Michigan For a more detailed map of escape routes of the Underground Railroad produced by the National Park Service Cartographic Staff at Harpers Ferry Center.

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General directions of escape
Free state--slavery prohibited
Slave state--slavery permitted
Territories where slavery permitted by local decision
WV The state of West Virginia was created in 1863 as a free state
There were probably at least as many attempts at escape from slavery in the North America of the late 1600s and the 1700s, both individual and in groups, as in the 1800s when various forces, from the national Constitution to the local slave patrols, were all aligned to prevent escapes. While primary attention is given to the drama of slave escapes to the free states of the North and to Canada, there was also a flow of runaways into Spanish Florida and into Spanish Mexico and the subsequent Mexican Republic. Although the numbers escaping across the southern borders never threatened to destabilize slavery, there were very serious consequences for American diplomacy. Indeed, American foreign policy in the antebellum era was often driven by the need to secure the national borders and prevent slave escapes. The majority of assistance to runaways came from slaves and free blacks and the greatest responsibility for providing shelter, financial support and direction to successful runaways came from the organized efforts of northern free blacks.

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